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Published February 21, 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Cluster–cluster lensing and the case of Abell 383


Extensive surveys of galaxy clusters motivate us to assess the likelihood of cluster–cluster lensing (CCL), namely, gravitational lensing of a background cluster by a foreground cluster. We briefly describe the characteristics of CCLs in optical, X-ray and Sunyaev–Zel'dovich effect measurements, and calculate their predicted numbers for Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) parameters and a viable range of cluster mass functions and their uncertainties. The predicted number of CCLs in the strong-lensing regime varies from several (<10) to as high as a few dozen, depending mainly on whether lensing triaxiality bias is accounted for, through the c–M relation. A much larger number is predicted when taking into account also CCL in the weak-lensing regime. In addition to few previously suggested CCLs, we report a detection of a possible CCL in A383, where background candidate high-z structures are magnified, as seen in deep Subaru observations.

Additional Information

© 2011 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS. Accepted 2011 November 7. Received 2011 October 28; in original form 2011 August 24. Article first published online: 16 Dec 2011. We thank the anonymous referee for valuable and important comments. AZ is grateful for the John Bahcall excellence prize which further encouraged this work. We thank Ian Smail, Piero Rosati, Peter Melchior and members of the CLASH team for useful comments. Work at Tel Aviv University was partly supported by the US-IL Binational Science Foundation grant 2008452, and by a grant from the British Council. AM acknowledges support by Israel Science Foundation grant 823/09. JS was partially supported by a NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship, a NASA Post-doctoral Programme fellowship, NSF/AST-0838261, and NASA/NNX11AB07G; NC was partially supported by NASA Graduate Student Research Fellowship. This work was also partly supported by PRIN INAF 2010. Bolocam observations and analysis were also supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Part of this work is based on data collected at the Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Society of Japan. The Chandra X-ray Observatory Center is operated by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory on behalf of NASA. Bolocam was constructed and commissioned using funds from NSF/AST-9618798, NSF/AST-0098737, NSF/AST-9980846, NSF/AST-0229008 and NSF/AST-0206158.

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